Jerome Vitenberg is an analyst of international politics and taught International Relations and Political Science for the London School of Economics through the University of London’s International Programsat DEI College Greece.
In a column last month, Vitenberg wrote that France’s involvement in the war-torn Central African Republic is part of a strategy to assemble a bloc of liberal democracies in Africa. He explains that France wants to create what he himself has termed the “Doula-Djibouti Corridor” across Africa, although France has never used this term.
CAR’s population is 80% Christian, but an Islamist campaign of violence is causing mayhem and the deaths of over 1,000 civilians and displacement of over 500,000 people. Unfortunately, some Christians have responded with their own militias that have engaged in retaliatory violence.
The following is Vitenberg’s interview with Ryan Mauro, Clarion Project National Security Analyst:
You should read the entire interview at but I want to focus on this part because it speaks to the most often asked question I see: Why do government officials tolerate and appease Islamists even when they are fully aware of their agenda?
Clarion: What is the official stance of France and other European countries towards the Muslim Brotherhood and, specifically, its role in Egypt?
Vitenberg: The French and other European intelligence agencies are fully informed about the jihadist goals and malicious strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated organizations.
On the other hand, the political echelons have shown a policy of appeasement towards those organizations within their countries. Each European country has a different theoretical understanding and practical methodology towards its dealings with Muslim organizations, especially the Muslim Brotherhood.
These differences result from how the various states relate to minority groups, the relationship with the minorities’ representative groups and, more generally, the concept of the relationship between the state and the individual.
There is a blatant contrast between the well-known intolerance of the Muslim Brotherhood ideology towards non-Muslim states and societies and the laissez-faire policy of the European governments towards the Brotherhood. There are several hypotheses about the political elites in Europe.
In some cases, the political echelons are naïve and believe in appeasement of jihadist organizations. Their normative and idealist approach prevents them from listening to their security and intelligence agencies.
Political elites may be victims of political blackmail that leads to a quiet understanding with the Muslim Brotherhood organizations in their countries. The understanding is that the European government lets the Islamists operate and the Islamists will keep quiet and not cause too much trouble.
The political elites may also be bribed, possibly via financial donations (e.g. from Qatar) for specific national projects or due to corruption with funding deposited into secret bank accounts.
There might be more explanations, but I believe that stupidity, fear and greed summarize why politicians are letting the Brotherhood manipulate individuals and families as a first step and societies and governments later.
CJR: see Western Arrogance and Decline by Bruce Thornton at Front Page